Barmy Army taunts Australian cricketers, coach Justin Langer says team ready to face heat from hostile British crowd

Australia coach Justin Langer said his team won't be rattled by a hostile reception at the World Cup as England's Barmy Army gave them a taste of what to expect.

Agence France-Presse, May 10, 2019 12:26:00 IST

Brisbane: Australia coach Justin Langer said his team won't be rattled by a hostile reception at the World Cup as England's Barmy Army gave them a taste of what to expect.

The defending champions are on a hot run of one-day form and have been boosted by the return of Steve Smith and David Warner after their one-year bans for ball-tampering.

But a trip to England is never easy, and the visit for the World Cup – followed by an Ashes Test series – is shaping up to be even more challenging than usual after the cheating row.

England's fiery Barmy Army supporters rarely need much incentive to get stuck into their arch-rivals and got the ball rolling on Twitter Thursday with a brutal pot shot.

In a taste of what to expect from British crowds, they doctored an image of Warner's official World Cup player portrait, replacing 'Australia' on the front of his shirt with 'Cheats'.

They also photo-shopped Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon holding sandpaper.

Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all banned over the scandal last year in Cape Town involving sandpaper to alter the ball.

"We're ready for it," Langer told SEN sports radio late Thursday. "If we're under siege the second we get off the plane, we're ready for it.

"The World Cup might be a bit different to start off, but certainly once the Ashes kicks off there will be plenty of commentary."

Warner returned to the Australian team this week after prolific form at the Indian Premier League, while Smith stroked an unbeaten 89 in Brisbane against a New Zealand XI on Wednesday.

Langer said Warner "has got this look in his eye at the moment", while praising Smith's innings as a "tutorial in batting".

"It's great for the team," he added. "I can honestly say I don't think we could be in a better position.

"It's a bit like facing fast bowling, you worry, worry, worry and once you get out in the middle, it's ok. The worst time to face fast bowling is in bed the night before.

"There's been a huge lead-up to this (Smith and Warner's return) and the boys have come in so far quite seamlessly."

Heading into this week's 'unofficial' three-match one-day practice series against a New Zealand XI, Australia had won eight one-dayers on the trot, against India and Pakistan.

They won the opening match against New Zealand before losing the second. The games are not counted as full internationals.

"My main concern is we've had a month's break at the end of the Pakistan series," Langer said.

"Guys were weary at the end of long taxing summer but we were match-hardened and battle-hardened and had a great sense of confidence.

"We're working back up towards it. That's why we're having these practice games."

Updated Date: May 10, 2019 12:26:00 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254